HCCC Marks End of World War I Centennial

Posted: 9/17/2018
Contact: Christopher Ciely, 201-360-4069, cciely@hccc.edu

WWI: Beyond Flanders Fields features rare artifacts and military items from the National World War I Museum and Memorial, lectures by distinguished scholars, vintage posters, and interactive displays. The exhibition opened on Monday, September 10 in the Dineen Hull Gallery on the sixth floor of the College’s Gabert Library Building at 71 Sip Avenue in Jersey City and will remain open through November 19, 2018.  There is no charge for admission.

“This is a unique opportunity to learn about the history of World War I, and to view memorabilia gathered from some of the finest collections in the United States”, said Dr. Chris Reber, President of HCCC. “We invite everyone in our community to take in all of the events connected to this exhibition.”

Among the items that may be viewed throughout the exhibition in the Gallery are:

  • Artifacts, including uniforms, medals, shrapnel similar to that launched during Jersey City’s 1916 Black Tom explosion, a U.S. service coat with an insignia from the New York 77th Division, and much more.  
  • World War I posters that played a vital role in engaging Americans. The exhibition’s poster displays is dedicated to the roles of women, war bonds, books, and the Statue of Liberty in World War I.
  • A special installation – a commemorative poppy memorial – that is dedicated to Hudson County Veterans. The College and its partners, helped compile the list of names of those who served. 
  • Tales of love, mutiny, trench battles, patriotism, and wartime poverty that will be highlighted during weekday film screenings through November 16 in the Dineen Hull Gallery Atrium. The films include A Farewell to Arms (1932), Path of Glory (1957), Westfront (1918), and Wooden Crosses (1932). 

The exhibition’s official opening reception was held on Tuesday, September 11, and featured a lecture by Andrea Siotto on “The Experience of Trench Warfare on the Western Front.” Allied Forces’ trench warfare strategies in Belgium and France prevented German troops from advancing through Europe. Soldiers from the United States, Great Britain, and France built thousands of miles of trenches for protection from machine gun and artillery fire. An Italian doctorate candidate in the History Department at Temple University, Siotto has studied the technology and tactics used before and during the war. He holds a master’s degree in History from the Universita degli Studi Roma Tre in Rome, Italy.

American involvement in World War I is memorialized at more than 50 locations in and around New York Harbor. On Tuesday, September 25, at 4:30 p.m., author Kevin C. Fitzpatrick will lecture on his book World War I New York: A Guide to the City’s Enduring Ties to the Great War. The program director for the WWI Centennial Committee for New York City, Fitzpatrick details the stories behind the memorials erected after 1918. 

As part of the College’s “Twilight Tuesdays,” the Apple Tree House at 298 Academy Street, Jersey City will feature World War I Poetry and Prose on October 9, 7 to 9 p.m.  HCCC faculty and distinguished community members will read poetry and prose highlighting the war for National Book Month. Reservations are strongly encouraged. 

The exhibition’s Closing Reception will be held on November 15, 4 to 7 p.m. at Gabert Library Building at 71 Sip Ave., Jersey City.

The World War I exhibition is possible thanks to the The National WWI Museum and Memorial, Ocean Township Historical Museum, Kingsland Museum, Jersey City Free Public Library, New Jersey Room, Apple Tree House, Hudson County Genealogical and Historic Society, Meadowlands Museum, Jersey City Office of Cultural Affairs, and Hudson County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs/Tourism Development. Community partners also include the Hudson County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs/Tourism Department, Jersey City Office of Cultural Affairs, and the New Jersey Room of the Jersey City Free Public Library. 

Fall Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Tuesdays, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, visit www.hccc.edu/cultural-affairs. HCCC’s Department of Cultural Affairs welcomes Hudson County community members, organizations, businesses, and school groups to enjoy our cultural programs at the College. Groups of 6 to 30 visitors are invited to a FREE 45-minute tour of our current fall exhibition in the gallery. To schedule a tour contact HCCC Cultural Affairs Director Michelle Vitale at mvitale@hccc.edu.